The Combined Clubs agreement has been in place since 2012 and in the main has worked well, with most series well supported both in terms of entries and starters.
However it has become apparent that in recent years the number of boats entering and starting in the Combined Clubs Harbour Series has been in serious decline. The Sailing Managers and key volunteers from the three clubs have been meeting regularly in the latter part of the 2016-2017 Season to attempt to address the decline by putting forward a model that encourages maximum participation in the Combined Clubs pennant series.
In doing so the group has taken into account feedback and constructive criticism from a range of owners and skippers. We have also been careful not to damage participation in successful series such as the Long Race Series and various Twilight Series. Bearing in mind that any new pennant model will be a compromise, the following is the model we are proposing for the 2017-2018 Season.
The programme features:
·A Combined Clubs Summer Pennant.The series will consist of nine races.
· Five (5) long day races starting from 10:00am
· Four races in the river starting from 1.30pm.
·Races will be scheduled approximately every second Saturday
·Because the new model combines the groups and divisions from the Long Race and Harbour Race Series, PHS handicaps will need to be reviewed and boats allocated to four or five divisions. While this may have little impact on most boats, some will inevitably go to a higher or lower division than in the past. IRC and AMS ratings will not be affected.
For those who enjoy the cut and thrust of windward/leeward style races there will be a separate series;
·Short Course Championship. The series will consist of three days scheduled throughout the season, with up to five races scheduled on each day.
More detail will be released in the next few weeks but this summary covers the direction Combined Clubs will be taking in the 2017-18 season.
Bellerive Yacht Club Commodore Graham Mansfield in Black Magic will lead Saturday’s Opening Day of the Yachting Season Sail Past, expected to total more than 200 craft.
Also aboard Black Magic will be Rio Paralympic silver medallist Matt Bugg, a fitting honour following his great performance at Rio.
For the first time since her appointment as Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AM will take the salute at the Opening Day of the Yachting Season.
This year’s 136thOpening Day on Saturday, 8 October, will comprise a Sail Past in Sullivan’s Cove, with the fleet motor/sailing line astern past the historic motor yacht Egeria, where the Governor taking the salute.
Her Excellency will board Egeria at the RYCT marina, where a pipe band wil be playing on the club lawns.
Hobart’s Opening Day of the Yachting Season is unique among yacht and sailing clubs in Australia, attracting a huge and varied fleet of the River Derwent.
Given good weather, spectators could see some 220-plus racing and cruising yachts, one-design racing yachts, motor yachts, dinghy classes, even kayaks and ‘tinnies’, out on the river for a spectacular sail past and salute.
‘Opening Day’ has been a tradition on the Derwent since 1880 when a handful of yachts performed ‘evolutions’ off historic Battery Point, with then Governor taking the salute.
Many vessels will be ‘dressed ship’ with nautical flags, their crews dressed up on colourful uniform for the occasion.
The parade will start line off the Regatta Grounds at 2pm, with dinghy and centreboard classes at the forefront, following racing yachts and at the rear of the fleet will come motor yachts.
The fleet, headed by Black Magic, will sail and/or motor into Sullivan’s Cove, leaving Egeria on the port hand in line astern with the senior officer on each vessel saluting by hand.
Opening Day represents the major clubs whose yachts race or cruise on the magnificent River Derwent and other southern waterways, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Derwent Sailing Squadron, Bellerive Yacht Club, Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania, Geilston Bay Boat Club, Sandy Bay Sailing Club and the Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Following the sail past, many boats in the fleet will raft up for the traditional Opening Day rendezvous which will be signalled on the flag poles of the RYCT, BYC and DSS at 1.30pm.
The following day, Sunday 9 October, will see the first long race of the Combined Clubs Series, the RYCT’s Channel Race, with the first Harbour race day the following Saturday, 15 October.
However, the SB20 one-design sports boat fleet will begin their pennant racing this Thursday evening, 6 October as part of the DSS Twilight racing.
The Bellerive Yacht Club would like to congratulate all the winners in the 2016 Tasmanian Hall of Fame and Yachting Achievement Awards that were held at the BYC last Sunday. We would especially like to congratulate Hughie Lewis for being named Yachting Personality of the Year
Here is his citation: Hughie Lewis took up keelboat racing in the mid 1980s after a successful career in competition water skiing. About the same time his business Lewis Marine took off, catering for all areas of recreational boating in Tasmania. His extensive knowledge of the Tasmanian recreational and professional marine industry is demonstrated by the fact that Hughie is currently a member of the Board of Directors for MAST. Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) is a statutory authority that was established on 30 July 1997 to ensure the safe operation of vessels (recreational and commercial), provide and manage marine facilities and manage environmental issues relating to vessels. Over a long period of time, Hughie has contributed at the highest level to all aspects of sailing at the Bellerive Yacht Club and the general sailing scene in Tasmania. He has been awarded life membership at the Bellerive Yacht Club and year in and out, he continues to contribute untiringly. He is currently a member of the BYC General Committee and is very actively involved in the Crown Series, Sponsorship and Marina Committees. This year, like many previous years, Hughie continues to be the driving force in attracting sponsorship for sailing events. The Crown Series Bellerive Regatta would not be possible without his crucial support. He has generously sponsored many Bellerive Yacht Club racing series and events. Hughie saw the potential of the Wednesday evening twilight races from the very beginning. His name has become synonymous with this event over the past three decades. Without fuss he has put up the sponsorship, assisted with race management, competed regularly aboard his own boats and crewed for others. Most importantly he made sure twilight prize giving ceremonies are always fun and inclusive. The high level of Hughie’s involvement in this event is definitely one of the reasons why the twilight series has become one of the most successful ways to attract new people to sailing. Hughie is at his best when on the microphone. His ability to engage his audience has transformed many a mundane prize giving session. He is renowned for throwing in the odd, slightly dubious, joke. At these occasions he always encourages participation, for example, the BYC Ladies Twilight Race days are now becoming mainstream, rather than one off novelty event. It is fair to say Hughie has owned many racing keelboats over the years, from production cruiser racers right through to the one design Farr 40 class. More recently he has been competing in the SB20 class as well as living aboard his Princess 57 motor cruiser on the BYC marina. His ability as a helmsman was demonstrated at the recent SB20 nationals where he came third in the first heat, beating many high profile crews in a hotly contested fleet run by the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron. In conclusion, Hughie Lewis has generously supported the sport of sailing over three decades. He has always been prepared to step forward when there is work to be done and he sits on countless committees. His contribution to sailing is not confined to one yacht club. This year, as has been the case for many decades now, Hughie has continued to contribute at the very highest level to all aspects of yachting in Tasmania. He has been active as a competitor and boat owner, a member of numerous committees and a major sponsor to many sailing events. His charismatic nature and genuine desire to improve yachting makes Hughie an extremely worthy nomination for the Yachting Tasmania Personality of the Year award.
Colleen Darcy and her all-women crew from Hobart have made a brilliant start to the 2016 Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta on a boisterous Port Phillip, winning all three handicap divisions of race two after a conservative start in race one.
Sailing the Archambault 35 Absolut, the Hobart women showed their heavy weather sailing skills as a predicted 35 knot front came through, with Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron race officers cancelling a planned third race.
Two divisions, multiple classes and seven represented states comprised the overall pool of 177 competitors, some of whom have never sailed keelboats before. The rough conditions saw some damage and a couple of WOB situations, but no serious problems to the 26 boats.
Race one started in a solid 15 knots from the north-west. Some boats tried to brave the increasing winds by keeping up full mains, but those who reefed benefited significantly.
Absolut finished second in fleet and on corrected time placed third under AMS scoring, fifth under IRC and fifth under EHC handicapping.
Race two saw the south westerly shift settle in direction but increase in pressure, livening the course and bringing short, sharp chop with it.
On Absolut, Derwent Sailing Squadron member Colleen Darcey took a conservative approach to the whole race, emphasising the need to reduce the chance of error through unnecessary manoeuvres.
These tactics by the Tasmanian crew, which represents the Derwent Sailing Squadron, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and Bellerive Yacht Club, saw Absolut lead the fleet round the course and win IRC, AMS and EHC on correct time.
Darcey explained: “We really pushed ourselves today; it was challenging but great fun out there. We were down one crew, which didn’t help, but it just made us work a little harder.
“Being from Tassie we’re used to the heavy weather but had to adjust our sailing to the slop and chop Melbourne’s Port Philip brings.
“We realised we needed to console our urges to play every shift and stick to conservative sailing. We’re certainly looking forward to adding more tactics and strategy to our game plan tomorrow.”